China issues orange alert for tropical storm Higos

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BEIJING, Oct 03, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- China issued an orange alert on Friday for tropical storm Higos that was expected to bring gales and heavy rain to southern coastal areas from Friday to Saturday.

Higos, the 17th tropical storm of the year, will land on the eastern coastal area of the southern island province of Hainan between Friday evening and early Saturday morning, or shave the area and approach western Guangdong Province, the National Meteorological Center (NMC) forecast.

The storm was at the central area of the South China Sea at 8 a.m. on Friday, about 220 km southeast of Wanning City, Hainan. It was packing winds of up to force 8, or 64.8 km per hour, and moving northwest at a speed of about 20 km per hour, according to the NMC.

With an orange alert, the second highest warning, the NMC warned vessels to take shelter in ports and urged local authorities to prepare for emergencies in the upcoming strong wind and rain storms.

The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters activated a third degree emergency response on Friday to prevent flooding.

Higos was formed on Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean, coming on the heels of storms Jangmi and Hagupit, which combined killed about 20 people in China.